a Novel by Damien Broderick & Rory Barnes

Fictionwise, November 2002 (reprint)

A far-future parable about political and cultural imperialism. Barnes and Broderick propose that by 4004 AD the Universe has been filled with human beings, thanks to the teleportational network (the "Aorist Discontinuity") and countless terraformed planets left behind by a von Danikenesque alien race known as "the Charioteers." Humanity is organised into a bleak and clinically brutal Empire. The novel focuses on a frustrated group of libertarian anarchists who live on the planet Victoria. By the end, their politically futile activities elicit from the reader a mixed emotional response. There is a sense of pathos, since all the moves in the game are foreknown and controlled by the rulers of the Empire, as becomes apparent in the final chapter, while the book's revolutionaries cannot even understand each other, let alone overthrow an omnipotently entrenched system. At the same time, there is a strong sense of dignity and courage, and this is magnified rather than diminished by the depictions of human weakness. Valencies, then, represents a struggle against Empire, a struggle that can never amount to more than futile gestures. The narrative is dominated by the characters' pranks, games, and parodies, and the complexities of their love lives. The incomprehension between person and person is suggested not only by the book's focus upon the difficulties between spirited Anla and dispirited Ben, and those between vulnerable Theri and gentle Kael, but also by the cunning juxtaposition of narrative viewpoints, which enables Barnes and Broderick to weave for the reader a delicate web of understanding of the characters' misunderstandings.

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Valencies cover art by Karen Abbey (1983 Edition)
Cover by Karen Abbey (1983 Edition)

Eidolon Publications 1995-2005

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